Rework for Taverns and Monasteries

Taverns

The addition of a coin trickle in DE is out of place. It doesn’t address the reason players are reluctant to build a Tavern and is inconsistent with the African and Asian factions who can’t get it. The main issues with Taverns are as follows:

  1. High population cost of units
  2. Inconsistency of mercenary units
  3. Underpowered outlaw units
  4. Inability to scale production with a build limit of 1

Solutions:

  1. Instead of a coin trickle by default, Taverns and Saloons should provide population space. Taverns are often multipurpose buildings that are part of an inn, theatre, or even brothel so some extra population space makes sense. Providing +10 population would be reasonable, and the Advanced Saloon card and building costs could be adjusted accordingly. If there does need to be a trickle, it should be gated behind cards like Theatres or Advanced Saloon.
  2. Being able to view available mercenaries before construction is a big improvement, but unit availability is still very random. A system to guarantee variety in unit types would help (don’t allow the entire roster to be of one unit type).
  3. The strength of older outlaws doesn’t line up with some of the newer ones. Revising the old outlaws to bring them in line with newer outlaws would improve use. At a minimum, the 6 population outlaws should be reduced to 5. Requiring multiple houses in order to train more than a single outlaw will never be viable.
  4. The Mercenary Contractor politician should give a Tavern wagon and +1 build limit

Monasteries

Monasteries should become religious buildings that train healers as discussed here:

Two new buildings should be added to take on the Tavern role for Asian civilizations: Teahouses and Caravansarai.

Caravanserai:

Fills the Tavern role for Indians, Ottomans, and any new Islamic civs (Persia, Oman, Morocco, Uzbeks/Bukhara, etc). Caravanserais were inns/stopover points along the trade routes of Asia and the Maghreb.

It would have all the same features as a Tavern including providing population space. Some additional perks like garrisoning villagers and receiving shipments would also make sense for Caravanserais as they were a place of refuge from bandits along trade routes.

The current Indian building of the same name should be renamed to Stable. This could go along with changing the Camel Sowars to the much more common Horse Sowars.

Teahouse:

Fills the Tavern role for China, Japan, and any new East Asian civs (Korea, Siam, etc). In Japan, Ochaya Teahouses were where geisha performed so they are similar in role to a tavern/brothel. In China, outlaw secret societies like the Tiandihui identified each other by the way they served tea, so a Teahouse as a place to hire outlaws and mercenaries is fitting.

Instead of providing population room, Teahouses provide a small export trickle. Neither Japan nor China are ever really population restricted so this should be a better bonus for them.

Teahouses could also have mercenaries and outlaws that cost export such as Yamabushi, Shinobi, etc. China could have exclusive or semi-exclusive outlaws like Boxers/Yihequan or Triads/Hongmen/White Lotus rebels.

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Some similar points I wrote before:

I think packing random mercs into random “merc armies” with similar composition as the merc army cards would make them more interesting. At least it gives a little more stability than full random draws (imagine you got all age 4 mercs, or 3 ranged cav/musketeers, or unit types that your civ is already very good at, or arsonists).
RNG is never preferred in an RTS.

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It could be a good idea, but I do like a bit of variation in the available mercenaries and set blocks of them could reduce the combinations available. Some system to prevent all one unit type or all age 4 units would be great though.

Maybe having a bonus mercenary tied to your civ could help. For example, British could have Highlanders, Portuguese could have Cannoneers, etc.

I’d say the coin tickle is fine, it also makes sense historically. But so does the population slots, so maybe increase cost by 75 and add+10 pop?

I also had the idea that you could reroll mercenaries for a cost so that you get new ones if your don’t like the current ones.

I’m not a huge fan of the coin trickle as a base feature of Taverns. It just don’t help when the main limiting factor is population space. I think it would be a better fit to have it be activated by cards like Theatres.

Rerolling could be a good option, but having the same mercenary pool as your opponent is probably best for gameplay. That way you can anticipate things like Gatling Camels coming your way. Simply adding to your available mercenary pool (through cards, civ specific bonuses, mercenary contractor, etc) is probably a better way to go.

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Merc choices could be shown along with deck and a reroll should be signaled to all players.

But it should be at least age 4 tech

If you look at viable merc (same with native/outlaw) strategies, they either have multiple production buildings, and/or do not rely on random numbers or maps. That’s the general direction to improve them.
BTW if they are going to add Italians I’d expect a major merc update because Italian should be a merc civ.

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More production capacity is definitely needed (at least for late game). There should still be some degree of randomness so that we get to experience the full degree of mercenary variety. For example, you should be able to pull off the same strategy with Mamelukes and Sennar Horsemen.

True, we might get something to do with condottiere if we get Italians.